Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cake. Taken.

Here's why we're doomed. It doesn't matter how many people in northern states remain connected to reality: there'll always be the south. And they'll always elect people bent on dragging the country down, in the name of the bible. The way our country was designed, by founders who clearly didn't trust "the people" all that much but in no way foresaw how stupid, frightened, and regressive they'd become, such states have the power of prevention. As in sensible legislation. Qualified appointees. Effective budgets.

People who think this is right will do anything:

A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
The legislation grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.
Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.
Clearly, we need to cut those states loose. Invite the people from around here who like them to join them. Pay their fare. Establish trade, have a couple of treaties for this and that, but get them the hell out of our politics. Seriously. Until we do, we'll never get anywhere. And since we won't, we won't.

[Image source]


Margy said...

And they might want to be careful what they wish for because the same reasoning they are using could also be applied to the second amendment, freeing individual states to ban guns altogether if they want to. For some reason, I don't think they'd like that at all.

Sam Spade said...

Alabaman here with a long pedigree. Many of my neighbors in the day would look upon Charlotte with distrust.

First, things have changed very much in my four and half decades of living in and visiting the South. For instance in the seventies and eighties blacks and whites might as well have been different species. (One effect of this is that it facilitated extraordinarily frank discussion. For example a black woman once stared at me and said nonchalantly, "You'd be all right if you had a butt." The butt angel did not smile upon me. Nor did the hair angel for that matter.) Now my mother tells me that interracial dating is unexceptional. My home town has flourished actually, and I suppose I'd just as soon move back there as to, say, Kansas or Iowa. Probably because of the internet, and big corporations looking for cheap, union-free labor, parts of Alabama have made moved towards joining the modern world. There is still a lot of grinding poverty and resentment however. Infant mortality rates and educational achievements could be from a third-world nation.

A second point: as Mark Twain said, "Faith is believing something you know ain't so." Nobody believes in thought crime, yet it's prescribed by the ten commandments. Everyone educates their children even though God didn't want us to eat from the tree of knowledge. No one believes in inherited sin, yet that's paramount in the Bible. Nobody is pro-slavery, yet that is an institution of keen interest in the Bible. No one believes in stoning, or that tattoos are evil, or really anything in the Bible, except maybe the anti-gay bits. No one believes that the wealthy can't enter the gates of heaven. No one expects the laws of physics to be violated from time to time. No one makes more than a token effort to emulate Jesus. No one uses divine command as a legal defense. I mean, yes, they ostensibly believe it, but not really. It's exactly the same as questioning whether the charlatan is a self-conscious fraud or not. Sometimes yes, certainly, but usually the truth is weirdly unclear.

Rather, to the Southerner the church is identity. It's a symbol for a tangle of tradition, family, and culture. Moreover, these people know very well that their lives are more circumscribed than are those of their neighbors to the north. They feel shame and humiliation.

So, when you attack the church, those are fighting words. Nothing galvanizes Southern constituencies more than an overboard affirmation of shared religion. They don't perceive an atheist as a lost soul, instead they see her as someone who derides their culture.

Nothing new here, I know. Mostly I just wonder why no one uses the label reactionary anymore. That's precisely what it is.

Sid Schwab said...

I prefer "regressive," but very well said, Sam. And informative.

Popular posts